King 810 - Memoirs Of A Murder review


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Band: King 810
Album: Memoirs Of A Murder
Release date: August 2014

01. Killem All
02. Best Nite Of My Life
03. Murder Murder Murder
04. Take It
05. Fat Around The Heart
06. Treading And Trodden
07. Anatomy 1:2
08. Eyes
09. Desperate Lovers
10. Boogeymen
11. Devil Don't Cry
12. Anatomy 1:3
13. Carve My Name
14. War Outside
15. Write About Us
16. State Of Nature

Anyone with even the faintest interest in what was going on in the metal scene in the year 2014 will remember how prevalent the name King 810 was. The sound of bones shattering from immediate knee-jerk reactions to the music emanating from the headphones from whoever was exposed to the band's songs was deafening. It would be an understatement to say the band were written off as a joke as they released their debut album Memoirs Of A Murderer.

Call me crazy or call it lockdown-induced insanity, but I'm going to say something that is practically heresy to many; King 810 weren't that bad. The band had flaws for sure, but if you give Memoirs Of A Murderer a fair shake then some decent fruit falls from the tree.

"Best Nite Of My Life", "Desperate Lovers", "Take It" and "Devil Don't Cry" are pretty decent tracks (though "Desperate Lovers" derails towards the end) and while not classics by any means, they would have bought the band some grace on their descent to being the butt of jokes. What all the songs have in common is that they are not the slow pounding dirges the band would find infamy with. "Desperate Lovers" has one hell of a riff driving the song, while "Best Nite Of My Life" is basically a hardcore track. Having "Kill 'Em All" and "Fat Around The Heart" as the first two singles typecast King810 something rotten. Had songs like "Take It" or "Eyes" gotten more attention, the band could have been seen as something more than the one-dimensional trope they became known for.

Gunn's vocals often dwell on creating or maintaining an image rather than benefitting the songs that he sings(?) over. While fitting the aesthetic of the song/album, it does come off as a bit try hard after a while, to the detriment of Memoirs Of A Murderer. I don't expect him to throw out a David Draiman 'oh wah ah ah ah', falsetto or anything, but something other than the gritty menacing talk sing that permeates this album. While on the slower songs he softens his tone, it's still the same style, just a slight twist on the volume dial.

For the most part the rest of the band are just...there. You can hear them perfectly, but it's rare that they play anything that isn't background music to whatever Gunn is doing. It's not poorly played but most of the time it's slight variations on the same idea that blends into a grey blur. Schroeder's production is good if unremarkable; his work supports the gritty and up-front nature of the music, but as a result he isn't given much to work with to allow his production skills to shine.

The band do fall foul regularly of presenting the same song over and over again with only minor tweaks to separate them, with "Boogyman", "Kill 'Em All", "Fat Around The Heart" et al being the biggest culprits. I won't dwell on them, for they are pretty self-explanatory when you listen to them.

If the scars from your knee-jerk reactions have faded, then perhaps you will have gotten this far into this review without getting the strait jacket ready. If you're willing to try and approach Memoirs Of A Murderer with fresh ears you will be able to hear something that was derided without a fair trial. It won't change your world by any means, but it will make you realize that in future, sometimes writing bands off too quickly leads you to tarring them with a brush that covers up the bright spots they do have.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 4
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 6
Production: 6

Written by omne metallum | 18.05.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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